Volvo Cars plans to limit car speed to enhance traffic safety

Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson presents fourth quarter 2018 results at the company's showroom in Stockholm, Sweden, on Feb 7, 2019.
Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson presents fourth quarter 2018 results at the company's showroom in Stockholm, Sweden, on Feb 7, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (DPA) - Carmaker Volvo Cars said Monday (March 4) it plans to introduce a speed limit of 180 kilometres per hour in cars it manufactures from 2020 onwards to enhance traffic safety.

The move is part of Volvo Cars' programme to enhance road safety and limit road casualties and fatalities, known as Vision 2020.

Top speeds for current Volvo models vary, depending on the engine model, but can reach about 250 km/h.

Chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said the company had a long history of implementing safety measures, noting that "while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it's worth doing if we can even save one life".

"We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver's behaviour, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction," he added.

The China-owned car producer said research had shown that beyond certain speeds, safety technology built into cars was not effective in preventing "severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident."

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and distraction - for instance when a driver is looking at a mobile phone rather than the road - were other accident causes Volvo mentioned.

China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group took over ownership of the Swedish carmaker in 2010 from US automotive giant Ford. Last year, Volvo Cars sold more than 642,000 cars.